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Fiber Art: Bringing Home The Intricate Art

For the longest time, I was afraid of fiber art. I thought this stunningly textured world of knitting, fiber, and intricate knots was only worthy of skilled silk artisans who had excelled in the craft.

Top view of composition of white macrame decor near colorful magazine and knitting ball on table

Not regular folks like me who had the finger dexterity of a toddler.

But the longer I waited, the more I longed for personalized fiber art crafts around my house—and my dream projects collected in a huge pile of bookmarks.

But who knew that all I needed to get started was one simple tutorial? One simple step-by-step guide would change my life—and the fate of my walls.

It was simple and fun, and the results were stunning. (It now hangs as wall art in the center of our lounge!

What is Fiber Art?

Fiber art is a type of fine art that uses materials like natural or synthetic fibers, fabric, and yarn. The craft is more about the look and feel of the piece than its usefulness. (Although macramé and yarn techniques make some great bags, book covers, and quilts too.)

But fiber art is more about beauty and self-expression. Artists work with their hands to make each piece, and time and effort are a big part of the art.

Sewing, quilting, needlepoint, macramé, and weaving are all examples of fiber art. Over time, some styles have become more popular than others. For example, macramé was big in the Victorian era and came back in the 1970s. It was used for various products, like plant holders and wall decorations.

Top View of Woman Holding Knitwork Decorations

While some fiber art, like quilts, was created to fulfill a need, others, like wall hangings, were born from a desire to create beautiful art. That’s why many were used to show scenes from nature or express human experiences.

And this aspect of fiber art is what I loved the most: that each piece has its own unique story.

What Can I Use for Fiber Art?

From exhibitions at the Smithsonian to the simple art of quilting, fiber art has a diverse range. 

While traditional fiber art uses natural materials like cotton from seed pods, linen from flax stems, wool from sheep, and silk from silkworm cocoons, modern fiber art uses synthetic materials like plastic and acrylics. 

Other techniques include:

  • knitting, 
  • rug hooking, 
  • embroidery,
  • felting,
  • braiding,
  • macrame, 
  • lace making, and 
  • flocking for texture. 

Fiber art also includes techniques, including cyanotype and heliographic (sun printing) methods.

The choices are vast, but to keep it simple, I would suggest picking a technique that suits your style. And if you’re like me, I highly recommend starting with (and completing) an easy project.

Baby steps, right?

Fiber Art Project: Macrame and Yarn Wall Hanging

Level: Easy
Supplies you need:  

  1. A stick or rod 
  2. Different colors of yarn (two or three colors)
  3. Scissors and measuring tape
White Macrame Hanging on Wood

Instructions:

  1. Place the rod or stick on a horizontal surface. You can add a little tape to keep it in place. Leave at least 2 inches from the ends and make a mark on both ends.
  2. Pick the first color of yarn and measure the length at about 2 feet. (We’re working with a 1-foot wall hanging.)  You’ll need around 20 of each color so it’s a good idea to cut them together. Also, you can add more if you have a longer rod.
  3. Now repeat the process for all three colors. Once you’re done, take two strings and tie them around the rod using the Larks head knot. The first knot may take a few tries but it gets easy once you get the hang of it.
  4. Now do the same for the other strings. You can play around with the colors. Or make a pattern and use colors as accents.
    At this point, if the ends look a little unbalanced, it’s okay. (I have a little hack to make sure you get the neat look.) We simply give the hanging a little trim at the end to make the edges neatly line up.  
  5. Now add a string to the sides that you marked in Step 1. You can trim the edges after you hang it to ensure a nice, even look.

    And that’s it: your fiber art wall hanging is ready to adorn the walls of your home.  
Macrame Wall Hanging

Fiber Art for Beginners: 

If you want an even easier journey, buy a DIY macramé kit for beginners. These are great because they come with all the supplies, have easy instructions, and will ease you into the craft. These are usually fool-proof, with all the right tools and materials packed into one set.

Loving the craft?

Ready to step up your fiber art game? Check out this DIY macrame plant hanger!

fiber art tutorial

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